It must have been one of his first days here. Before he know how things were run. He'd been at the gym, just walking into it, when he was stopped by a young man. He looked down at the hand on his chest, then up at the smirking face in front of him and he hadn't had a clue what to do.
"Gunn. Back off. Mine," a low voice had said behind him.
The man had backed down immidiately, holding his hands out to indicate surrender. "Didn't know, man. No hard feelings?" And he'd turned around and walked away.
Riley had kept on looking straigh ahead until a hand touched his shoulder. He'd started and looked. And nearly wet himself. He might not have been there long, but he already knew who Xander was. Everybody knew who Xander - Second Pointer, Squad A - was. He couldn't be much older than Riley, but he had Seniority. Seniority was everything at the Centre. Seniority meant priviliges, upper housing, mission approval and choice of team members. He felt a tingle down his spine. Was he being chosen as Xander's Wing? Or. Or was it something else he was chosen for...?
He looked searchingly down at a face that revealed nothing.
"Room 431, in two hours. I will be expecting you."
Room 431... Fourth floor, upper level. Riley swallowed hard.
There was a flicker of amusement in dark eyes. "For mission briefing."
He had been chosen as second Wing. Anya was first Wing. And Xander's lover. He thought she had initiated it. Certainly it was always she who jumped him after a completed mission. The Director always looked in her direction when matters of seduction came up. Looking for reaction. For jealousy. He knew she wouldn't find any. Anya, her many faults not with standing, was a professional. The mission would always come before matters of the heart... or the flesh. Because he could not believe it was love between them.
He had fallen in love back there in the gym.
He would never tell anyone that, of course, least of all Xander, but if he got even a hint of interest from his Pointer, he would toss Anya out of his bed and lie in it himself.